In the worst case scenario where your dog might choke on a toy, a pet first aid course could help you save its life.
Pet First Aid & Training will lead a course at the Waiohiki Creative Arts Village in Taradale on Sunday, with tickets costing $179.
Company owner Josie Williams said studies show that 90 per cent of all pets will experience at least one emergency situation in their lifetime and that's where the course comes in handy.
Using specially imported manikins from the US, participants will learn CPR and rescue breathing.
"The manikins represent a medium-sized dog and they're designed specifically to practise breathing and CPR.
"Their chest rises, they have a pulse, their tongue puffs in and out ... all sorts of things.
"The manikin is called 'Casper' because it has CPR in the name, although other instructors around the country have given it a different name like 'Paul' or something along those lines."
Williams said they use a slightly different technique on cats, but the manikins are not used.
The courses are popular around the country with half the participants being pet owners and the other half working in the animal industry, such as catteries or kennels or dog walkers.
"The courses have been running for about five years and they're usually pretty booked out, but of course some people have never heard of these kinds of courses before."
Williams said participants will walk away with a world of information and a pet first aid certificate valid for two years.
"Those who take part will learn CPR, rescue breathing, you'll learn about choking and there's a technique which is very specific to animals and very different to the way humans are treated.
"We go over things like burns, bleeding and broken bones and another really big topic is poisons. There's so many different things that are totally not okay for animals and it varies depending on the type of animal as well."
Participants will also learn how to give their dog (or cat) the kiss of life - but it's not as bad as you might think.
"For a dog or a cat it's our mouth to their nose because of the shape of the mouth - our mouth isn't going to fit over theirs - so going through the nose is the most effective way to do it."
To book online go to www.petfat.co.nz or phone 0508 PET FIRST.
For more information go to firstname.lastname@example.org.